Midland investigating contaminated soil in downtown parking lot

An investigation into industrial contamination found in the soil under the municipal parking lot at is going to cost the Town of Midland a minimum of $100,000.

had purchased the lot in 2016 with the intention of building a waterfront brew pub, but low levels of industrial contamination found in the soil and issues with groundwater quality .

After the deal fell apart in late 2017, the Town hired Stantec Consulting Ltd. to conduct a contamination overview study.

Town officials believe the low levels of contaminant found in the soil at 526 Bay St. were transferred through groundwater and that the contaminated soil is upstream from the parking lot.

“The study identified 63 potential sources of contamination and ranked them high, medium and low,” said Andy Campbell, director of engineering, water and wastewater.

Drilling will begin in September in the areas that ranked high on the list, which includes the vicinity of 509 Bay St., a property that used to be occupied by Imperial Oil.

“The drilling and analysis will tell us if we really just have an issue at 509 or 526 Bay St. or that it’s in a much broader area,” said Campbell.

The proposal that went before council on July 23 had estimated costs for a subsurface investigation at $100,400. This number could change depending on what is discovered in the coming months.

“The only way to find out what is underground is to start drilling holes and do analysis,” said Campbell. “At this point, we are trying to minimize the drilling we do to contain costs, but if we find something that shows we need more holes, we will do that.”

Initial contaminant levels found in the soil in 2017 were well below provincial guidelines and do not pose any immediate health risks. Should this change, the public will be notified.

“We want to ensure everyone is aware of what is going on underground there. If there are any health concerns, we will address them,” said Campbell.

Staff are optimistic that surplus funds in the 2018 budget will cover costs of the investigation.

Get advice from an Innisfil senior at the Elder Wisdom bench

A few seniors from Lakeside Retirement home will be sharing their words of wisdom with a younger generation Aug. 8.

The project is called Elder Wisdom and started a few years ago with Coleman Care Centres and Schlegel Villages seniors’ homes.

One of their stops in 2016 was in Barrie and the program continued this year, with Innisfil IdeaLAB and Library staff participating.

“We emailed them and asked about coming to Innisfil,” Innisfil IdeaLAB and Library strategic planning co-ordinator Dana Stott said. “They are bringing the bench and #ElderWisdom buttons, but it’s important to have local residents sharing the wisdom.”

The concept is a senior will sit on a green bench in front of the library while waiting for a stranger to take a seat beside them and start up a conversation.

“It’s a catalyst to get people talking and to fight ageism within the community,” Stott said. “It’s to highlight talents and wisdom and to show our elders they are valued and appreciated.”

It also creates an intergenerational conversation without the barriers, she added.

“There are a lot of questions about relationships and some about careers,” Stott said. “General life questions and queries.”

One of the ideas with the Elder Wisdom program is people assume seniors have all the answers.

“It’s more like if you’re a senior, you’ve had the wrong answer more times than not and you’ve learned from them,” she said. “That’s one of the ideas on the website that I thought was pretty clever.”

As the Elder Wisdom program has grown, the focus has also turned to technology, with guests using hashtag #ElderWisdom to share their experiences.

“There’s an initiative to get seniors comfortable with technology. This was the first year they had a Twitter panel and included technology as a learning piece.”

The Elder Wisdom program visits Innisfil Aug. 8 from 3 until 8 p.m. in front of the Lakeshore branch of the Innisfil IdeaLAB and Library,  All are welcome to participate by spending some time on the green bench. The event happens rain or shine.

For more details, visit

Southern Georgian Bay OPP charge Innisfil man for drinking and boating

The Southern Georgian Bay OPP marine unit charged 10 people during 30 hours of patrol over the course of the August long weekend.

Officers checked 55 vessels, looking for operator sobriety and for required safety equipment. They also responded to 21 calls for services within the detachment patrol area.

Ten operators were charged for a variety of marine related offences, including James Allan, 48, of Innisfil who was stopped on Six Mile Lake at 4:10 p.m. on Aug. 2. OPP marine officers spoke with Allan and ended up transporting him back to the Southern Georgian Bay detachment.

Allan has been charged with operating a vessel while ability impaired, operating a vessel with more than 80 mg of alcohol in his blood, failing to have a pleasure craft operators card, operating a pleasure craft without prescribed visual signals, operating a pleasure craft without a licence and for driving over 10 km/h within 30 metres of shore.

Southern Georgian Bay OPP marine officers remind all vessel operators that they need to have sufficient life jackets and all required safety equipment on board prior to leaving shore.